Litecoin’s price has doubled in the last month. Shutterstock

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Litecoin prices have risen sharply over the last month, climbing more than 100% since mid-September.

The alternative protocol assets price reached $66.19 today, after falling to nearly $32 on September 15, according to CoinMarketCap.

The digital currency has pulled back a bit since then, trading at roughly $64.35 at the time of report, additional CoinMarketCap figures show.

[Ed note: Investing in cryptocoins or tokens is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone considering it should be prepared to lose their entire investment.]

As for what caused Litecoin’s sharp ascent, analysts generally pointed to two major variables.

Follow The Leader

Several analysts pointed to Bitcoin’s recent gains when explaining Litecoin’s upward price movement.

The two digital currencies have frequently displayed a strong price correlation, CoinDesk reported.

However, some market experts contended that Litecoin has been merely following its digital sibling higher.

“Litecoin is just cruising in Bitcoin’s wake,” said Tim Enneking, managing director of Crypto Asset Management.

Digital currency trader Marius Rupsys provided similar input, asserting that Bitcoin’s recent rally has been the primary driver of Litecoin’s recent gains.

Charles Hayter, co-founder and CEO of leveraged digital currency platform CryptoCompare, offered a similar point of view, asserting that “the majority” of Litecoin’s recent price increase could be linked to Bitcoin’s rise.

Litecoin has climbed as the broader crypto markets rise in value. Shutterstock

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats’

Hayter emphasized the age-old saying that A rising tide lifts all boats, noting that the total value of the digital currency market has climbed lately.

Earlier today, the total market capitalization of these currencies surpassed $176 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. This put them very close to their all-time high of nearly $180 billion.

Gavin Yeung, founder and CEO of digital asset management firm Cryptomover, also spoke to this overall trend.

He asserted that Litecoin, in particular, has benefited from the recent growth of digital currency markets.

Hedging Bitcoin’s Downside Risk

Another explanation that analysts offered for Litecoin’s recent gains is investors hedging against a potential decline in Bitcoin.

Preparing for such a drop would make sense, as the latter currency has surged more than 500% this year.

Investors may be using Litecoin as a hedge in case Bitcoin suffers a correction, said Yeung.

Iqbal Gandham, UK Managing Director of social trading platform eToro, offered similar commentary, emphasizing the potential consequences of the hard forks that Bitcoin is scheduled to experience in the coming months. 

“I feel investors are looking at alternatives to Bitcoin in case the forks create too much chaos.”

While several analysts singled out the aforementioned factors as helping push Litecoin higher, one expert pointed to an alternate explanation.

Impact Of Mining

A growing number of miners have been moving away from Bitcoin Cash and instead mining Litecoin, noted Yazan Barghuthi, project lead at blockchain firm Jibrel Network

Mining comes down to profitability, he emphasized, so miners may simply be seeing more stable returns with Litecoin. 

Traders are reacting to this shift and purchasing Litecoin, Barghuthi asserted. 

Disclosure: I own some Bitcoin and Ether.